It’s pretty ironic that a time of the year when everything is dying can be when so many aspects of everyday life are the most vibrant … Equally as ironic is the outfit which looks amazing but feels so comfortable … or that looks so incredibly high-end, yet is affordable.
Irony: that is what today’s ensemble embodies most.
Matching the season’s vibrant foliage, this outfit brought out the best of various rich earth-tones and flaming sunset hues. I started from the top with my newest addition to my hat collection — a 1950s English-hunt inspired ruched, deep purple, nearly brown velour hat — a lucky find at my local trendy, second-hand boutique (more on this deal in a short minute).
And what better to go with a velour hat, then a complimentary velour blazer? Under the blazer I wore a silk capped sleeve Jane Porter blouse in a warm, shimmery sand/copper color which pulled out the base Earth tones of the blazer and it’s subtle print.
Rich, lush fabrics layered on top of each other … just like the leaves! (Did I mention that I am in love with this outfit??!) But this look wouldn’t be complete without that splash of color — so I grabbed my favorite scarf (a gifted Hermes) and wrapped and twisted it around, gave it a loose tie, but anchored it with a vintage-1970s Owl Pin (my latest find and so this season, too!).
I went with a dark-washed, trouser-style pair of Italian jeans, and then a pair of white-stripped and torquoise/teal knee-highs with a ruffle detail.
To draw in the Earth-tones again, I wore my new vintage-inspired (circa. 1920-30s) camel-colored double-strapped heels.
And, here’s my last detail on this outfit … a bunch of beaded, elastic bracelets — drawing on the vibrant golds, teals and hearty Earth-tones … not for just bringing the outfit full-circle, but to cover up the fact that my splendid velour blazer is too short in the arm for my ape-long limbs!So what is the grand total of this Fall Beauty?
Well, this one is hard to estimate, since a very high-end piece was gifted (the Hermes scarf which retails at $350), so I am leaving that out of the figure, however, I don’t spend more than $2 on scarves at thrift shops, and no more than $10 retail … but, without further adeui:
$68, the total estimate cost.
$20 1950s Velour Hat (w/ a 50% off coupon at ArtsEcho, Weehawken, NJ)
$5 Vintage Printed Velour Blazer (full price at a Chester Co, Pa., Thrift Store)
$5 Silk Capped-Sleeve Jane Porter Blouse (a lucky yard sale find, since it was brand new & retails at $90)
$15 Dark-Washed Italian Trouser Jeans (on clearance at Daffy’s, Paramus, NJ)
$15 Camel-Toned Strappy Heels (on sale at Easy Pickens, Union City, NJ)
$5 Assorted Elastic Beaded Bracelets (on sale at H&M and 5-7-9)
$2 Torquoise Knee-highs (on clearance at random clothing retailer)
$1 Vintage 1970s Owl Stick Pin (full price at a Chester Co., Pa., Thrift Store)
What’s the Take-Away Value? Well, that would be knowing the value of amazing fashion, without negating the value of the dollar! My most expensive piece in this outfit was the hat … without my coupon it would have cost $40, and while $20 on a vintage hat is far above my normal cost (averaging around $3), I actually would have paid the full price.
So, why would this bargain zealot dig deep for this particular hat? Easily stated, that hat was no ordinary find … but to top it off, as I stood in the store considering if I should blow my 50% discount on the hat and if the hat was even worth the $20-40, I was already conjuring up the outfit you just perused.
And this is a perfect example of my rule of thumb (for avoiding unnecessary purchases):
No. 1 — Will I ever find something like this again?
No. 2 — How often will I wear this?
No. 3 — Do I have something to wear it with right now?
No. 4 — Will I regret passing this by?
No. 5 — Is it going to be worth it?
If I can’t respond the 100% certainity on 4 out of 5 of the questions, then I longingly put the item back and walk on. This rule has served me well … keeping me from frivolous, shiny objects to actually giving me the courage to not pass up those one-of-a-kind pieces that aren’t in the nickle and dime price ranges. Surprisingly, I have never second-guessed a “yay” or a “nay” ruling after going through the 5-questions-to-ask-before-I-buy!
Perhaps, this little guideline, that you can remember on one hand, will help keep you fashion forward and piggy-bank savvy!